US President Barack Obama nominated former Bank of Israel head Stanley Fischer as vice chair of the Federal Reserve on Friday.

Fischer had been the administration’s top choice for some time.

“I am deeply honored that President Obama has nominated me to serve as Vice Chairman of the Federal Reserve Board,” Fischer said later Friday. “The Fed will continue to play a critical role in restoring and maintaining the health of the economy, and I look forward, if confirmed by the Senate, to working to the best of my ability with Janet Yellen and my future colleagues to achieve its policy goals.”

According to the Wall Street Journal and Israel’s Channel 2 news, the White House had been close to nominating Fischer since December to be Janet Yellen’s second in command at the US’s central bank. Yellen was confirmed by the US Senate earlier this week.

Fischer left his post with the Bank of Israel in the summer and was recently replaced by Karnit Flug.

He had served as the bank’s governor from 2005, and was credited with successfully steering the country through the global financial downturn.

Fischer submitted his resignation to Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in January 2013. He told the prime minister that he wanted to step down in April, but Netanyahu convinced him to delay the resignation until June. His term was originally set to end in 2015.

Janet Yellen (photo credit: Federal Reserve)

Janet Yellen (photo credit: Federal Reserve)

Fischer was touted as a possible choice to take over the Fed chairmanship from Ben Bernanke, but Yellen eventually got the nod.

Fischer, 70, was born in Northern Rhodesia (now Zambia) and lived in Southern Rhodesia (modern Zimbabwe) before his family moved to the United States. He served as the chief economist at the World Bank in the late 1980s and as first deputy managing director of the International Monetary Fund from 1994 to 2001.

He moved to Israel in 2005 to take over Israel’s Central Bank and left the country for the US after resigning in June.